Puranic encyclopaedia

by Vettam Mani | 1975 | 609,556 words | ISBN-10: 0842608222

This page describes the Story of Kalakeya included the Puranic encyclopaedia by Vettam Mani that was translated into English in 1975. The Puranas have for centuries profoundly influenced Indian life and Culture and are defined by their characteristic features (panca-lakshana, literally, ‘the five characteristics of a Purana’).

Story of Kālakeya



The Asuras who were born to Kālā (Kālikā) by Kaśyapa Prajāpati, the son of Marīci and Brahmā’s grandson.


"Kālakeya" is not the proper name of a particular Asura. The sons of Kālā (Kālikā) are all collectively called Kālakeyas. They number about 60,000. Sometimes they fought under the leadership of Vṛtrāsura and at other times under other Asura leaders.

Agastya and the Kālakeyas.

Once the Kālakeyas started a campaign of hatred against Brāhmaṇas. At nightfall they used to enter Brāhmaṇa premises and commit murders, disturb their yāgas, etc. The Brāhmaṇas complained to the sage Agastya. Agastya set out to capture the Kālakeyas, who were alarmed and hid themselves in the ocean. Agastya dried up the ocean by drinking it. But some of the Kālakeyas escaped and fled to Pātāla. (Mahābhārata Vana Parva, Chapter 101).

Arjuna and the Kālakeyas.

The headquarters of the Asuras was Hiraṇyapura, situated near Devaloka. Once they allied themselves with thousands of other Asuras called "Nivātakavacas" and launched an attack on Devaloka. Indra sent his charioteer Mātali and brought Arjuna to Devaloka. Arjuna defeated the Nivātakavacas and Kālakeyas in battle. A large number of Kālakeyas were killed in the battle. (Mahābhārata Vana Parva Chapters 172-175).

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